What is the best High Blood Pressure monitor? The boring answer is, it depends. It depends on your needs, usage, and budget. The better question is, do you need a High Blood Pressure monitor? Well, I just bought one under advice from my doctor. At 55, my doctor feels I need one to regularly check my blood pressure as an early warning system. High Blood Pressure, left undiscovered and untreated can be fatal.
Two recent news items made me realize buying a High Blood Pressure monitor is a beneficial investment.
The first news item. Isabel Granada, a popular Filipino actress, and singer collapsed suddenly during a ‘meet and greet’ event with her fans in Doha, Qatar. She went into a coma and later passed away. The cause was a brain aneurysm. She was just 41. It must be heart-breaking for her husband and her 14-year-old son.
The causes of a brain aneurysm are unknown. But the risk factors include older age, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), drug abuse, and heavy alcohol consumption.
High blood pressure is a hidden danger. It is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. Hence at my age, it’s important to know whether my blood pressure is normal or if high, whether to go on medication. The best way is to check regularly.
You now have high blood pressure!
The second news item. The American Heart Association News headlined an article “Nearly half of U.S. adults could now be classified with high blood pressure, under new definitions.” The new standard is set by the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and nine other health professional organizations. The study was done over 3 years and based on hundreds of studies and clinical trials.
These new guidelines mean that the number of U.S. adults considered as having high blood pressure has increased 14% to 46% from 32% previously!
- Before 14th Nov 2017, if your blood pressure reading is 140/90, then you have high blood pressure.
- Now, if your blood pressure reading is 130/80, you are considered as having high blood pressure!
- Blood pressure reading of 120/80 is still considered normal.
- The new definitions are drafted to help people take steps to control their blood pressure earlier.
- This is preventive medicine.
- Even if a person is now considered as having high blood pressure, it does not mean that he or she needs to immediately take medication. Dr. Paul Whelton, M.D., who chaired the committee that wrote the new guideline said, “It’s a yellow light that you need to be lowering your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches.”
- However, even if more people will be under medication, there are benefits. According to Kenneth Jamerson, M.D., and a professor of internal medicine and a hypertension specialist at the University of Michigan Health System explained, “Yes, we will label more people hypertensive and give more medication, but we will save lives and money by preventing more strokes, cardiovascular events, and kidney failure.”
- It recommends a healthy living style, eating healthier food, exercising, losing weight avoid smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, decreasing salt intake, and reducing stress as the first line of defense.
However, there are those who disagree.
Don’t Let New Blood Pressure Guidelines Raise Yours
H. Gilbert Welch expressed his dissenting voice, “Don’t Let New Blood Pressure Guidelines Raise Yours”, in the New York Times. He is a well-known author of “Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care.” He is also a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute of Health Policy & Clinical Practice.
Here’s a quick summary of his thoughts:
- He is a staunch proponent of less medicine and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
- He acknowledged that the Sprint Study (the basis for the New Guidelines) was well-conducted and of high-quality.
- The gist of the study was that the lower target set for someone to be considered as having high blood pressure or hypertension led to a 25% reduction in heart attacks, strokes, heart failures, and cardiovascular deaths.
- He is concerned that the participants chosen were in the “higher-than-average-risk for cardiovascular events” and thus they do not reflect the reality of the general population.
- Another concern is that the blood pressure reading can be volatile and in the Sprint Study the subjects were allowed 5 minutes to calm down before their blood pressure was taken. This may not reflect the real setting of a busy clinic.
- He worries that the new guidelines will result in more people being put on unnecessary medication.
- He strongly recommends focussing on nutritious food, regular exercise and adopting a less-stress lifestyle.
We notice that in both for and against the new guidelines, they have the same recommendation: Healthier living!
The Best High Blood Pressure Monitor? Click here for full review
What this means to laypeople like you and me
As controversial as the new guidelines may be, the takeaway for me personally is not more medication but living a healthy lifestyle. Even for those of you who are on medication, a change in your diet and lifestyle will help you to control your high blood pressure.
You may like to assess your blood pressure and cardiovascular health, check out:
For me personally, a change is in order. I will:
- Eat more green, leafy vegetables.
- Eat less carb, like rice.
- Reduce beer consumption.
- Eat less fried chicken skins.
- Exercise regularly. (I walk up 31 floors to my apartment, down 31 floors, and up again another 31 floors, total 62 floors! 3 times a week)
- Check my blood pressure on a regular basis.
My number 1 recommendation.
Hi, my name is Song. Thanks for visiting hard-knocked-life-coach.com. Please come again!
What is your blood pressure? What changes are you making? Do you agree with the new high blood pressure guidelines? If this post is useful, please share!